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Reece James returns to first-team training after injury nightmare

Chelsea right-back and captain Reece James has returned to full first-team training after missing over five months of action through injury.

The England was substituted after 26 minutes due to a hamstring injury in the 3-0 defeat by Everton at Goodison Park in December 2023.

James subsequently had surgery in an attempt to fix the recurring hamstring injury. 

He missed half of Chelsea’s games last season, and the club thought he would bounce back this term, but injuries have hindered him again.

James has only made eight appearances for the club this term and will be delighted to return to full fitness after this injury nightmare.

He will be eyeing a couple of substitute appearances in Chelsea’s last three games of the season.

The Blues are fighting to clinch Europa League football after climbing up the table in recent weeks with wins over Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

Chelsea sit in seventh place with Newcastle United in sixth, and they will be desperate to bridge the two-point gap and leapfrog the Magpies.

Ahead of this weekend’s visit to Nottingham Forest, manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed James’ return: “We need to see today, but maybe Reece can be available in the squad, yes.

“The most important thing is that he is going to be with us. Always to have your captain is a massive boost for any team. We have an amazing relationship, and he is an amazing player.

“It’s not easy when you come back from a long-term injury. The most important thing is for him to be available and be part of the squad.

“If he can play five, 10, 15 or 30 minutes, it will be amazing. It’s unlucky there are only three games left.”

Midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu also returned to training after being sidelined with an injury since January. 

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